Frances Ruffelle, fondly remembered for her Tony-winning performance as the original Eponine in Les Miserables, is a multitalented star of stage, screen and cabaret. The London-born singer and actress is headed to 54 Below on May 22 in a concert titled Beneath the Dress. The show celebrates Ruffelle's favorite “women who love to entertain" and will include tunes from the stage and beyond. Below, the headliner dishes on her musical influences, dream duet partners and seeing Beyonce in concert.
What record/album was your favorite growing up?
“Tell Me on a Sunday” by Andrew Lloyd Webber and “It’s Raining Men” by Paul Jabara. I used to sing along to these in my bedroom.
What concert most influenced you as a performer?
Many Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli concerts influenced me early on, and more recently I love Beyonce in concert. I like to feel I have taken my own crazy journey with my own concerts.
What is your go-to audition song?
Depends on what it is for. I wish I had one! I don’t get to audition very much, so when I do I always panic about what song would be right for the role. But one of my favorites is “If You Love Me” by Edith Piaf.
What song are you most excited to perform in your show?
I never say what songs are in my show. I always keep it a surprise!
What musical theater track is the most played on your iPod?
“I Don’t Care Much” from Cabaret sung by Barbra Streisand.
If you could invite any performer onstage for a duet at 54 Below, who would it be?
What musical theater performer from the past do you wish you could collaborate with?
What album was the soundtrack to your 20s?
“So” by Peter Gabriel
What’s your favorite love song?
“Man With the Child In His Eyes” by Kate Bush
What song makes you feel sexy?
“Diamonds And Pearls” by Prince
What is your favorite workout track?
“Hysteria” by Muse
What’s the best hidden gem in on your iPod?
“Rum and Coca Cola” by the Andrew Sisters
Favorite break-up song?
“Kiss From a Rose” by Seal
What song most makes you smile?
“Yes Sir I Can Boogie” by Baccara
When this song plays, I can’t help but dance:
“Lola’s Theme” by Shapeshifters
My vote for the song of summer is:
“Pack Up” by my daughter, Eliza Doolittle